How does my cardiologist diagnose heart disease?

Dr Xana conducts various cardiac imaging tests to diagnose your heart condition. Each diagnostic test depends on your symptoms, medical examination and family history of heart disease or stroke.

What is coronary angiography?

Coronary angiography is a cardiac imaging test that assesses the condition of your arteries. This diagnostic test detects abnormally large or narrow arteries in your heart.

How does my cardiologist perform a coronary angiography?

To perform coronary angiography, your cardiologist injects a fluid dye through a tube termed a “catheter.” Dr Xana threads the light tube through the targeted artery from either your arm or groin. The fluid dye highlights the blood flow within your blood vessels on an x-ray and reveals any blocked or constricted areas in your blood vessels. After the coronary angiography, the dye exits your body through your urine.

What other cardiac imaging tests are there?

Through a standard chest x-ray, your cardiologist can detect structural abnormalities of your heart and find a suitable entry point for catheterisation. Other cardiac imaging tests include:

  • Echocardiogram: This test utilises soundwaves to capture pictures of your heart. An echocardiogram evaluates the condition of your heart.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECG records your heart’s electrical activity and captures heart arrhythmias.
  • CT scan: Through a cardiac CT scan, Dr Xana assesses the health of your arteries. A CT scan helps pick up the build-up of calcium in your arteries.

How does my cardiologist resolve my heart condition?

After a series of cardiac imaging tests, once your cardiologist confirms your diagnosis, he will decide on a suitable treatment plan to resolve your heart condition. Through cardiac pacing, coronary angioplasty and right heart catheterisation, Dr Xana resolves cardiovascular conditions.

What is cardiac pacing?

Cardiac pacing involves the implantation of a pacemaker to control your heart rate. A pacemaker is a compact device that runs on a limited 5-15 year battery life. The insertion of a pacemaker helps maintain healthy heart rhythm.

How does my cardiologist perform cardiac pacing?

Your cardiologist makes a small cut and slides an introducer, which is a plastic tube, into your blood vessel. A lead wire is then inserted through the plastic tube into your blood vessel. Once the wire is in the sheath, Dr Xana leads the wire through your blood vessel into your heart. After the implantation of the pacemaker, your cardiologist performs tests to verify the function and location of the pacemaker.

What is coronary angioplasty?

Dr Xana uses special stents and balloons to open up a blocked or constricted coronary artery. This procedure improves blood circulation to your heart and reduces signs of angina. In some cases, your cardiologist performs an emergency coronary angioplasty to resolve a heart attack.

How does my cardiologist perform a coronary angioplasty?

Your cardiologist uses a catheter to position the stent and balloon in the narrowed region of your artery. Once the balloon and stent are in position, Dr Xana inflates the balloon, and as a result, the stent expands and pushes the plaque away. After the inflation of the balloon, your cardiologist leaves the stent in place to open up the artery and removes the balloon.

What is right heart catheterisation?

Right heart catheterisation tests the pumping ability of your heart muscle and measures the blood pressure in your lungs and heart.

How does my cardiologist perform right heart catheterisation?

Dr Xana makes a small incision in your arm or groin area and guides a catheter to your heart and arteries. Your cardiologist checks the pressure in your heart and pulmonary arteries. During this cardiac test, Dr Xana will instruct you to cough or breath. After your cardiologist records your pressure, he removes the catheter and dresses the surgical site.

What is an Angiogram?

A coronary angiogram is a procedure that uses X-ray imaging to see your heart's blood vessels. The test is generally done to see if there's a restriction in blood flow going to the heart.

Coronary angiograms are part of a general group of procedures known as heart (cardiac) catheterizations. Cardiac catheterization procedures can both diagnose and treat heart and blood vessel conditions. A coronary angiogram, which can help diagnose heart conditions, is the most common type of cardiac catheterization procedure.

During a coronary angiogram, a type of dye that's visible by an X-ray machine is injected into the blood vessels of your heart. The X-ray machine rapidly takes a series of images (angiograms), offering a look at your blood vessels. If necessary, your doctor can open clogged heart arteries (angioplasty) during your coronary angiogram.

During the procedure you will be conscious for monitoring purposes. Before the procedure begins the Dr will give you an injection to numb the groin region (Local anesthetic) where the entry point for the procedure will be.

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